CARE home staff in Craven are being encouraged to get the flu jab this winter.

The NHS believes such efforts will help reduce some of the 8,000 people each year who die in England from flu-related complications.

It says staff who work in organisations have a personal responsibility to ensure they protect themselves and those they care for from the flu.

The NHS is again running an award scheme for care sector organisations that encourage their staff to receive the inoculation.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England launched the awards scheme last year to recognise efforts made by care homes, hospices and domiciliary care providers to achieve a high level of flu vaccine uptake by their staff.

Organisations will receive a bronze award if 50% to 59% of staff are vaccinated, silver for 60% to 69%% and gold if 70% or more of their staff have the flu jab.

Chief nurse for North East and Yorkshire, Margaret Kitching, said: “Getting the flu jab is the best way to protect yourself against flu and to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

“Staff working in the care sector are more likely to come into contact with people who have the flu virus so have the responsibility to protect themselves and those they care for. Older people and those with existing health conditions can become seriously ill if they get flu. It is also possible to carry the virus without showing symptoms.

“I am making a plea for all care sector staff to get the flu jab and also to organisations to encourage their staff to get the vaccination.

“We were very pleased with the response to this awards scheme last year and more importantly we potentially prevented significant numbers of people from getting the flu.”

Care sector organisations will receive information about how to take part in the flu vaccine awards scheme.

Care sector staff can get a free flu jab at their local GP or participating pharmacy. They should take their ID badge, letter from employer or payslip.

Staff in care sector organisations can find out more about getting the vaccine

Members of the public can find out more about getting vaccinated by speaking to their GP or local pharmacist, or visiting